THE DARKEST SIDE OF THE FORCE

From the imagination of George Lucas, the Star Wars franchise has brought joy to an incalculable number of lives. And leading up to the December release of JJ Abrams’ contribution, there’ll be nostalgia aplenty. However, as Disney’s commitment to subsequent additions foreshadows, the whole story has yet to be documented.
As the public at large looks back fondly on the franchise’s most shining moments, Folio Weekly has harnessed the evil mystical energy of the Jedi to bring you some Star Wars stories that remain untold. Buried, for good reason, these incidences will rock the world, with reverberations to be felt in a galaxy far, far away.

Knockoff Lightsabers Result in a Series of Recalls

Dismembered limbs, singed knuckles, cloaks erupting in flames, and continual hecklings from Siths were just a few of the aftershocks that afflicted Jedis when a series of counterfeit lightsabers flooded the market in 42 BBY. According to The Tatooine Times, at a press junket held in the He-AL-Ton Conference at Holiday Inn Express on Chandrila, Yoda stated that he and the rest of the Jedi High Council believed that an inferior form of plasma leaked through the shaft’s plasma field. “Help, you need. Herh, herh, herh,” offered the wise, diminutive, hermaphroditic, guacamole-hued Jedi elder. “Midichlorian count matter not when cheap-ass saber explode face.”

Han Solo’s Mid-life Crisis

It was the newly-pierced left ear that sent the rumor mill into hyperdrive. The late-night cavalcading and running-up of tabs at the Mos Eisley Cantina with a balding Chewbacca didn’t help. The return to the wearing of outdated and ill-fitting long-sleeved Henley tees (worn under a strategically unbuttoned vest) was certainly cringe-inducing. But it was the trading-in of the beloved Millennium Falcon for a new cherry-red N-1 Starfighter that confirmed that perhaps the most macho human smuggler ever to emerge from the manufacturing planet Corellia was indeed having a mental breakdown. Though rumors of infidelity swirled, after months of encouragement from his wife Leia Organa, and their three children, Jaina, Jason, and Anakin, Solo pulled through the crisis, earring removed, dignity intact.

AT-AT Walkers Pulled from Toy Shelves

Proving once again that all it takes is a few dumb kids who like to gnaw on toys to ruin all the fun for the rest of us, in 1981 Kenner Toys almost immediately pulled the first line of All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) Walkers from the toy shelves. Dozens of children, many just uncool and not understanding of proper action-figure-playing etiquette, had apparently licked, chewed on, or directly ingested plastic fragments of the awesome four-legged model with fully movable limbs. The apparent culprit was found in the containers the toy company had used to import the items from the manufacturing plant in lower Asia. Hundreds of thousands of roundworm eggs, or ascaris lumbricoides, had been used as an economical packing material to keep the toys from breaking during shipping. Based on the mobile weaponry first seen in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, other users of the banned toy described how the original toy was “just awesome,” and “not as sucky” as the replacement version as for the kids who were hospitalized due to the roundworm infestation; fans of the original called them were “big dumb fart asses.”

R2-D2 Gets Loaded with National Lampoon Alumni

In the fall of 1978, George Lucas and the entire Star Wars organization were thrown into a frenzied panic when chirping astromech droid R2-D2 decided to have a booze-and-dope-filled lost weekend with former National Lampoon writers Doug Kenney and Michael O’Donoghue. After a wheezing, out-of-shape search party combed throughout Lucas’ Marin County, California, enclave/future-cult-compound and its surrounding environs, the Star Wars impresario received word that R2-D2 and the pair of pioneering humorists were spotted in Manhattan at a Patti Smith concert at The Bottom Line. Lucas feared this defection could lead to another scandal. Mere months earlier, “Obi Wan Kenobi” star Alec Guinness had drunkenly pistol-whipped a key grip during the filming of a Star Wars TV commercial tie-in with Little Debbie snack cakes (“Ben Kenobi has a snack for you!”). After Lucas threatened legal action, Kenney and O’Donoghue agreed to send R2-D2 back in a first class seat on a major airline, but not before filling the interior of the much-loved droid’s cylindrical frame with an ounce of heavily cut cocaine, three-fifths of Scotch, a wind-up, cymbal-playing monkey, a Homer & Jethro LP, and a half-dozen souvenir tomahawks.

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october, 2021

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